Eastern Water Dragon: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Read these interesting eastern water dragon facts to learn more about this reptile whose scientific name means intelligent lizard.

The eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii) is an Australian water dragon subspecies that belongs to the Agamidae family. Previously, the Australian water dragons were given the name water dragon, Physignathus lesueurii lesueurii. Studies show that they are the single genus of the two species, but more recent studies show they are not closely related. Thus, the name was changed to Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii, and the water dragon Physignathus lesueurii is given to the other species.

As their name suggests, the eastern water dragon is a semi-aquatic lizard species that can stay both in the water as well as land. These lizards usually swim into the water in search of food when they feel threatened, and also sometimes to sleep in the water creeks.

Their binomial name, Intellagama, means intelligent because these creatures actually are very smart. They have complex social systems, and because of which they react very fast, especially when threatened. They usually find places to rest, like trees that have basking above the water river or streams, so that when they see their predators, they can easily escape them by dropping in the water.

Here on our page, we have a lot of interesting facts on the eastern water dragon that you will definitely enjoy. Let's have a look at these facts. If you like these facts, then do check out bearded dragon facts and sea dragon facts.

Eastern Water Dragon

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Reptiles, insects, frogs, worms, fruits, berries, flowers, vegetation

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

6-18 eggs

How much do they weigh?

2.25- 2.75 lb (1- 1.2 kg)

How long are they?

3.25 ft (1 m)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Gray-green, brown

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Various snakes, birds, foxes, dogs, cats, habitat destruction, climate change

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Water regions, creeks, rivers, coastal areas, forests


South Australia





Scientific Name

Intellagama lesueurii





Eastern Water Dragon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an eastern water dragon?

Eastern water dragons are a subspecies of water dragons that are a semi-aquatic lizard species from Australia.

What class of animal does an eastern water dragon belong to?

The eastern water dragons belong to the class of Reptilia.

How many eastern water dragons are there in the world?

The exact population of eastern water dragons is not estimated yet. The reason is that they are in growth and not on the list of endangered species, which makes it very hard to estimate their exact population. However, these lizards are very far from declining as they reproduce up to 18 eggs at a time and are found in captivity as well as in the wild.

Where does an eastern water dragon live?

Eastern water dragons are a native species of Australia. They are found in large numbers and in a range of regions, including Queensland, New South Wales, and areas of Victoria. A huge population of water dragons is found in Adelaide, particularly on the east coast of South Australia.

What is an eastern water dragon's habitat?

The Australian eastern water dragon prefers to inhabit coastal areas and dense forests. As you are aware that they are semi-aquatic animals, they are found residing near the water areas like the creeks, rivers, streams. Apart from the wild, these creatures are also kept in captivity by humans. In fact, they are quite famous pets in South Australia.

Who do eastern water dragons live with?

The eastern water dragon lizard is a social behavior animal that can reside in groups easily. Often you find wild water dragons in a small group that contains one dominant male with several females and juveniles. While in captivity, they are often kept as a single eastern water dragon pet because if they are kept with other water dragons, then they might produce offspring in no time.

How long does an eastern water dragon live?

The eastern water dragon's lifespan in the wild is unknown, but while they are kept as pets, they are observed to have a lifespan of 20 years or more.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of the eastern water dragons starts when the warm weather arrives. In the wild, the males are observed to have a fight with each other, and they build territories where the other males cannot enter. The male then attracts the female by doing some activities like showing throat pouches, and after that, they perform the mating process.

Their eggs are laid in a deep hole that is covered by the parents so that the temperature of the eggs is intact and also they can be safe from predators. The parents do not care for the young and abandon the eggs after laying them, and the young become an adult on their own.

In captivity, it is observed that the water dragons mate twice a year which is not the case in the wild, and they are observed to show active parental behavior for the young, both males and females parents.

What is their conservation status?

Their conservation status is of Least Concern according to the IUCN. These creatures are found in large numbers in Australia. These creatures are far from in a declining state as their populations are intact and in full active growth.

Eastern Water Dragon Fun Facts

What do eastern water dragons look like?

The eastern water dragon is a reptile with a green, gray, and brown colored body with dark black banding on its back which extends to its gray-brown-black tail. Their body is covered with scales and some of the ancient features similar to the body of dragons of fairytales which we saw in cartoons and books. The legs and limbs of these creatures have black scales on them with pale brown colored spots on the limbs and legs.

Their throat is yellow, white, and red in appearance combined with green and dark-colored markings on their whole body. The crest of spines is on their head goes to the end of their tail. The spines are larger on the head, and as they go to the end of the body, they get smaller in size, with the smallest on the tail. The legs are long in size with hard and strong claws, which helps them in climbing. The juveniles look similar in appearance to the females of the same size and color.

There is a green-colored underskin on the head to the legs of the eastern water dragons.

How cute are they?

Whether they are cute or not is quite subjective. The majority of people find them not at all cute, but some do find them cute to keep as pets. These water dragons are common pets in Australia.

How do they communicate?

The eastern water dragons communicate with each other through the use of visual cues. These creatures use movements like head bobbing, arm movements, and licking their body. Their arm-waving signals the dominance and submission of males and females respectively. The fast arm moving shows dominance and vice versa. Males usually perform head movements to attract females during the courting period.

How big is an eastern water dragon?

The eastern water dragon size is huge compared to the common wall lizards, and they are the largest water dragons in the world. The average size of these creatures is 3.25 ft (1 m). The normal size of an average wall lizard is around 7.8 in (20 cm).

How fast can an eastern water dragon move?

The exact speed of the eastern water dragon is not estimated yet, but these creatures are known to be very fast runners. The eastern water dragons can move on all four legs as well as only two legs when needed, which is a little scary, isn't it?

How much does an eastern water dragon weigh?

The eastern water dragon can weigh around 2.25-2.75 lb (1-1.2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the males and females species of the eastern water dragons.

What would you call a baby eastern water dragon?

There is no particular name for baby eastern water dragons.

What do they eat?

The eastern water dragon's diet consists of any small insects, whether they are land or water insects. As the water dragons are omnivorous creatures, they can feed on trees, vegetation, fruits, flowers. Apart from herbs, they can also feed on other reptiles, frogs, and worms. But the juveniles' diet is only small insects until they mature.

These creatures also have many natural predators like various birds and snake species. Wild dogs, fox, and cats are also their predators.

Are they dangerous?

The eastern water dragon is a venomous lizard species. Although its venom is not so poisonous that it can kill a person, it is quite enough for their prey. Apart from the venom, these creatures have a large and strong set of teeth which is quite painful if bitten by them. The little venom which they contain can also be harmful if the person has allergies.

Would they make a good pet?

Eastern water dragons are commonly kept as pets in Australia. Although these lizards are hardy and high maintenance, they are still kept by many people. If they are met with their needs, then they can be a very good pet as they are easy to tame and will not harm their owner. Apart from that, they also have a long lifespan which is a plus point for a pet.

Did you know...

As you know, the eastern water dragon cannot survive the cold temperatures; they hibernate during this period. They hide so perfectly that they cannot feel cold at all and come back to forage in the summer seasons.

The strong tail of eastern water dragons helps them to swim in the water easily. It cuts through water similar to an oar with its flattened sides and muscles.

How to care for an eastern water dragon?

The eastern water dragon care is very hardy, but it can be possible. The very first and important thing is to keep the eastern water dragon temperature always warm. These creatures cannot survive in the cold season and always requires a warm season. They always spend their time basking in the sunlight if wild, so you need to provide them with heat by UVB lights in captivity. Other than that, they need a complete diet of food and water on time. You have to change their diet every two weeks, so they cannot get bored with the same food. And in the end, decorate their living area a little so they can feel greenery and everything around them. If you can raise two eastern water dragons, they bring him a partner.

Can water dragons hear?

Yes, an eastern water dragon can hear. Although not all reptiles can hear, the lizards, who are reptiles, can hear perfectly, and the eastern water dragon is a kind of lizard.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these sand lizard facts and frilled lizard fun facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Eastern water dragon coloring pages.



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